I have been AWOL from this blog, so sorry about that! But do not fear, I have not lost the running bug. I am still at it, however since I am mid move, it has not been with the same vim and vigor as I have in the past. I have two race recaps to update you all with. This post will let you all know about my first one, which was the Ottawa Fall Colours 10K.
This took place on October 12th, some 10 days ago now! It was set in Cumberland Heritage Museum, which actually is a reproduced village set in the 1920s-30s era. You can wander round the grounds with an old general store, mechanics garage and the like. All life size and near enough in working order. But I was not there to have a look round. This village was quite away out from where I live, even from downtown Ottawa. It’s actually about 30 minutes or so east of Ottawa – a 30 minute drive in Canada is quite a way away!! I hadn’t realised how far! In fact, I could hear my inner child shouting “Are we there yet!?!”. It was a very scenic drive though, along the Ottawa River – If I could have stopped to take photos I would have. They must have known how far off it was, as there was no Friday race kit pick, only the Saturday, the day before the race – and of course the morning of too. I always prefer to get it all beforehand, so I am not rushing and worrying so much the day of the race. The race swag bag was not too shabby this time round – for a small race – it included an extra technical tee from New Balance, as well as the race day tech shirt, AND a kit bag! Not bad at all!
Since completing my first half marathon my running plan has been out of whack. And because of moving apartments, and the fact that the days are becoming shorter and colder, I have been finding it hard to stick to the number of runs I should have been doing per week. So Saturday, I had also run a slow 5K, but it should have been a rest day! I was not to fussed about it – and thought it would help me remember how to run 🙂 The 10K was part of my long run in preparation for my next half!
The day of the race came! Although I got up, and was prepared in ample time, it ended up being a tight one, as it was so far away everyone drove to the race. So that scenic route I took, was a car crawl on the second go! It took even longer. I decided to try and go the long way round and come through from the other side – which ended up being the best decision. I was able to get parking and get my timing chip with 5 minutes to spare. A lot of people, who stayed in the mainstream traffic, had to miss the official start of the race, due the traffic problems. But the organisers were OK and allowed people to start, hooray for chip timing! This observation was from the Half Marathon/Marathon starters that I arrived to see – the 10K started just afterward.
I made my way to the back of the pack – as I still think of my self as a “slow runner”, and the race set off! It was a rather scenic out and back course. It started off through the Village Museum and then out to mostly residential, albeit Idyllic humungous houses, on tree lined streets, with expansive driveways. An affluent place to live, for sure. A few of the residents came out to cheer us on, which was great. When first hitting the road, there was a slight decline, which I had not noticed on the way out! I definitely realised it was there on the way back! At about the 2.5K mark, there was a much steeper incline – and unfortunately I had to walk it! Hill training has not made it into my training just yet! I don’t really get into the swing of my running either, until around 3.5K (I’m not warmed up enough most likely) so I had to walk it! A water stop arrived just after that too! But once the ground level out, it was pretty much plain sailing from there. My pace has really picked up (for me) I’m noticing! After the 5k past I was able to finish off the second 5K with virtually no stopping whatsoever. In fact 3 of the last 5K my pace was 6 min 55 secs per K – I’m amazed! Coming back down that huge incline helped a lot with that, but then that slight incline came along and nearly stumped me. But I paced it slow back up! Some volunteers were shouting not long now, so of course I assumed the finish line was just round that corner – I did my usual finish line speed up. But when I got round that corner there was still a very long way to go! I was not able to keep the momentum going! When I race, at the start line, I pick a couple of people I think I have the measure of – and hope to keep up with or beat them. This day I picked three girls who had dressed up for the occasion. They had similar outfits, pigtails and tartan socks. I think it was one of their birthdays’. I saw them at this point so tried to keep up with them as much as I could. I walked again, as that “pre-finish” took a little out of me, and then when I could see the finish line proper, I sped up, took over, and ran through the finish line beating them.
I looked down and stopped my nike+ watch. I was so happy to see the time of 1:12:39 which would be 3 minutes off my previous PR, of course the chip time was a little longer, at 1:13:44, but that still is 1:30 faster so I am not complaining.
Incidentally, October marks 1 year since I found running! To be exact I took my first run/walk of the Couch to 5K program on October 8th 2013! Look at me now, 14th race in 2014. There’s no stopping me now! 🙂